Monthly Archives: March 2018

WOODY WEDNESDAY The most viewed posts on MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part 3

Listing the most popular posts on WOODY ALLEN and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS!!!

 

 

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I have done several series on Woody Allen movies and my favorite movie of his is Crimes and Misdemeanors. Here is a post on that movie at this link: Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1). 

I hit a home run when I did a series on Woody Allen’s movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. Basically I researched all the historical characters mentioned that in that movie. This theme has been a tremendous success. Let me share with you a list of the most viewed with the links:

20TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

21ST  MOST VIEWED POST:

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

22ND  MOST VIEWED POST:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Midnight in Paris: TAP’s Movie of the Month for June 2015 JUNE 1, 2015 by TAP Adventures

23RD  MOST VIEWED POST:

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

24TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

25TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

Picasso painting “The acrobat” in Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris”

26TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore)

27TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

28TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

29TH  MOST VIEWED POST:

Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” explores “golden age fallacy” (Part 39)

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Moving WOODY WEDNESDAY to first Wednesday of the Month!!!!

I am moving the WOODY WEDNESDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been in recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays. If you would like to visit some of my past blog posts on WOODY ALLEN then click on some of the links below.

Related posts:

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 7 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part F, SURREALISTS AND THE IDEA OF ABSURDITY AND CHANCE)

Woody Allen believes that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 6 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part E, A FURTHER LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

In the last post I pointed out how King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and that Bertrand Russell, and T.S. Eliot and  other modern writers had agreed with Solomon’s view. However, T.S. Eliot had found a solution to this problem and put his faith in […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 5 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part D, A LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender ponders the advice he gets from his literary heroes from the 1920’s. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and many modern artists, poets, and philosophers have agreed. In the 1920’s T.S.Eliot and his  house guest Bertrand Russell were two of […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 4 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part C, IS THE ANSWER TO FINDING SATISFACTION FOUND IN WINE, WOMEN AND SONG?)

Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald left the prohibitionist America for wet Paris in the 1920’s and they both drank a lot. WINE, WOMEN AND SONG  was their motto and I am afraid ultimately wine got the best of Fitzgerald and shortened his career. Woody Allen pictures this culture in the first few clips in the […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 3 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part B, THE SURREALISTS Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel try to break out of cycle!!!)

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Woody Allen the best scene of the movie is when Gil Pender encounters the SURREALISTS!!!  This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 2 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part A, When was the greatest time to live in Paris? 1920’s or La Belle Époque [1873-1914] )

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Woody Allen is really looking at one main question through the pursuits of his main character GIL PENDER. That question is WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT? This is the second post I have […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 1 MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT)

I am starting a series of posts called ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” The quote from the title is actually taken from the film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT where Stanley derides the belief that life has meaning, saying it’s instead “nasty, brutish, and short. Is that Hobbes? I would have […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149P Sir Bertrand Russell Optimistic Humanism possible? Russell says NO!!!

Bertrand dogmatically states that OPTIMISTIC HUMANISM IS NOT POSSIBLE in his work A FREE MAN’S WORSHIP. “A Free Man’s Worship” (first published as “The Free Man’s Worship” in Dec. 1903) is perhaps Bertrand Russell’s best known and most reprinted essay.  Here are his exact words:

Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

 

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

Bertrand Russellin full Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, Viscount Amberley of Amberley and of Ardsalla (born May 18, 1872, Trelleck, MonmouthshireWales—died Feb. 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth), British philosopher, logician, and social reformer, founding figure in the analytic movement in Anglo-American philosophy, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Russell’s contributions to logicepistemology, and the philosophy of mathematics established him as one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th century. To the general public, however, he was best known as a campaigner for peace and as a popular writer on social, political, and moral subjects. During a long, productive, and often turbulent life, he published more than 70 books and about 2,000 articles, married four times, became involved in innumerable public controversies, and was honoured and reviled in almost equal measure throughout the world. Russell’s article on the philosophical consequences of relativity appeared in the 13th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

(Bertrand Russell pictured below)

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In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

(George Wald pictured below)

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Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Charles Darwin pictured below:

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Recently I read this book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892.Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. It included this quote from Charles Darwin:

“…It is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful…”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Here you feel Marcel Proust and the dust of death is on everything today because the dust of death is on everything tomorrow. Here you have the dilemma of Nevil Shute’s ON THE BEACH. If it is true that all we have left is biological continuity and biological complexity, which is all we have left in Darwinism here, or in many of the modern philosophies, then you can’t stand Shute’s ON THE BEACH. Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men. Charlie Chaplin when he heard there was no life on Mars said, “I’m lonely.”

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space. They say when it was shown in Stockholm the first time, the tough Swedes with all their modern  mannishness, came out (after the opera was over) with hardly a word said, just complete silence.

Darwin already with his own position says he CAN’T STAND IT!! You can say, “Why can’t you stand it?” We would say to Darwin, “You were not made for this kind of thing. Man was made in the image of God. Your CAN’T- STAND- IT- NESS is screaming at you that your position is wrong. Why can’t you listen to yourself?”

You find all he is left here is biological continuity, and thus his feeling as well as his reason now is against his own theory, yet he holds it against the conclusions of his reason. Reason doesn’t make it hard to be a Christian. Darwin shows us the other way. He is holding his position against his reason.

Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to, …to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become COLOUR-BLIND.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic, these things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin‘s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension.  He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of  nature) that would make him human  stand against his theory.

[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Bertrand Russell was 46]

It is quite true what you say, that you have never expressed yourself—but who has, that has anything to express? The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else—something that perhaps by its very nature cannot be said. I know that I have struggled all my life to say something that I never shall learn how to say. And it is the same with you. It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. But it is from listening to the ghost that one comes to feel oneself a ghost. I feel I shall find the truth on my deathbed and be surrounded by people too stupid to understand—fussing about medicines instead of searching for wisdom. 

Here below is the song DUST IN THE WIND performed by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. I challenge anyone to  read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead to the nihilistic message of the song!

DUST IN THE WIND:

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone

All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea

All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy

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Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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Francis Schaeffer notes that Russell’s mechanistic worldview does not allow for a personal God that created us and that means there is no other conclusion other than nihilism. It seems at one point Russell did embrace nihilism when he asserted:

(Bertrand Russell when he was younger made this comment below)

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That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; …that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell

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The British humanist H. J. Blackham (1903-2009) put it very plainly: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Harold John Blackham (1903 – 2009) was founder of British Humanist Association (pictured below)

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H.J.Blackham pictured in 1974 below:

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In the 1986 debate on the John Ankerberg show between Paul Kurtz (1925-2012) and Norman Geisler, Kurtz reacted to the point Blackham was making by asserting:

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I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.

I read the book FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Paul Kurtz and I had the opportunity to correspond with him but I still reject his view that optimistic humanism can withstand the view of nihilism if one accepts there is no God. Christian philosopher R.C. Sproul put it best:

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Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

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Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look in Ecclesiastes at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

Kerry Livgren is the writer of the song “Dust in the Wind” and he said concerning that song in 1981 and then in 2006:

 1981: “When I wrote “Dust in the Wind” I was  writing about a yearning emptiness that I felt which millions of people identified with because the song was very popular.” 2006:“Dust In the Wind” was certainly the most well-known song, and the message was out of Ecclesiastes. I never ceased to be amazed at how the message resonates with people, from the time it came out through now. The message is true and we have to deal with it, plus the melody is memorable and very powerful. It disturbs me that there’s only part of the [Christian] story told in that song. It’s about someone yearning for some solution, but if you look at the entire body of my work, there’s a solution to the dilemma.”

Ecclesiastes reasons that chance and time have determined the past and will determine the future (9:11-13), and power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced(4:1). Is that how you see the world? Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment.”

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

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Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

(part 2 ten minutes)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

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Francis Schaeffer on pages 178 to 179 of volume 1 THE GOD WHO IS THERE asserted:

I do not believe that there is a leap of faith needed; there are good and sufficient reasons to know why Christianity is true–and more than that, that is the Bible’s insistence. The Bible’s emphasis is that there are good and sufficient reasons to know Christianity is true, so much so that we are disobedient and guilty if we do not believe it.

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces–there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man–which is my own term for meaning that man is unique. People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of Jean-Paul Sartre, though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it.In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that–no matter what people say they are, they are what they are, that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena of the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Now I would like to add a corollary to this: in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially the extensive notes of the fifth chapter, there is a third thing and that is the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the twentieth-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.

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Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible:

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 205 The Apostle Paul (Feature on artist Xanti Schawinsky )

 

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Image result for francis schaeffer beatles

In about A.D. 60, a Jew who was a Christian and who also knew the Greek and Roman thinking of his day wrote a letter to those who lived in Rome. Previously, he had said the same things to Greek thinkers while speaking on Mars Hill in Athens. He had spoken with the Acropolis above him and the ancient marketplace below him, in the place wherethe thinkers of Athens met for discussion. A plaque marks that spot today and gives his talk in the common Greek spoken in his day. He was interrupted in his talk in Athens, but his Letter to the Romans gives us without interruption what he had to say to the thinking people of that period.

He said that the integration points of the Greek and Roman world view were not enough to answer the questions posed either by the existence of the universe and its form, or by the uniqueness of man. He said that they deserved judgment because they knew that they did not have an adequate answer to the questions raised by the universe or by the existence of man, and yet they refused, they suppressed, that which is the answer. To quote his letter:

The retribution of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which is known of God is evident within them [that is, the uniqueness of man in contrast to non-man], for God made it evident to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived by the things that are made [that is, the existence of the universe and its form], even his eternal power and divinity; so that they are without excuse. [The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:18ff.]

Here he is saying that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man speak the same truth that the Bible gives in greater detail. That this God exists and that he has not been silent but has spoken to people in the Bible and through Christ was the basis for the return to a more fully biblical Christianity in the days of the Reformers. It was a message of the possibility that people could return to God on the basis of the death of Christ alone. But with it came many other realities, including form and freedom in the culture and society built on that more biblical Christianity. The freedom brought forth was titanic, and yet, with the forms given in the Scripture, the freedoms did not lead to chaos. And it is this which can give us hope for the future. It is either this or an imposed order.

As I have said in the first chapter, people function on the basis of their world view more consistently than even they themselves may realize. The problem is not outward things. The problem is having, and then acting upon, the right world view — the world view which gives men and women the truth of what is.

E P I S O D E 1

ROMAN AGE

I. Introduction

A. Problem: dilemma of social breakdown and violence leading to authoritarianism which limits freedom.

B. We are, however, not helpless. Why?

C. Answer approached through consideration of the past.

D. Any starting point in history would be good; we start with Rome because it is direct ancestor of modern West.

II. Rome: The Empire Triumphant

A. Size and military strength of Empire.

B. Imperial sway evoked by Aventicum (Avenches), Switzerland.

III. Rome: Cultural Analysis

A. Greece and Rome: cultural influences and parallels.

1. Society as the absolute, to give meaning to life.

2. Finite gods as ground of accepted values.

B. Problems arising from Roman culture.

1. No infinite reference point as base for values and society.

2. Collapse of civic ideals therefore inevitable.

C. Results of collapse of ideals.

1. Dictatorship of Julius Caesar a response to civil disorder.

2. Firmly established authoritarian rule of Augustus.

D. Characteristics of regime introduced by Augustus.

1. Claim to give peace and the fruits of civilization.

2. Care to maintain facade of republican constitution.

3. People ready to accept absolute power in return for peace and prosperity.

4. Religious sanction for emperor-dictators: the emperor as God.

E. Christian persecution

1. Religious toleration in the Empire.

2. Christians persecuted because they would worship only the infinite-personal God and not Caesar also. They had an absolute whereby to judge the Roman state and its actions.

F. Viability of presuppositions facing social and political tension.

1. Christians had infinite reference point in God and His revelation in the Old Testament, the revelation through Christ, and the growing New Testament.

2. Christians could confront Roman culture and be untouched by its inner weakness, including its relativism and syncretism.

3. Roman hump-backed bridge, like Roman culture, could only stand if not subjected to overwhelming pressures.

IV. Rome: Eventual Decline and Fall

A. Growth of taste for cruelty.

B. Decadence seen in rampant sexuality and lust for violence.

C. General apathy, as seen in decline in artistic creativity.

D. Economic decline, more expensive government, and tighter centralization.

E. Successful barbarian invasions because of internal rot.

V. Conclusion

There is no foundation strong enough for society or the individual life within the realm of finiteness and beginning from Man alone as autonomous.

Questions

1. Dr. Schaeffer claims that, through looking at history, we can see how presuppositions determine events. Does his discussion bear this out and, if so, how?

2. How can a survey of Roman history in one-half hour be either useful or responsible? Discuss.

3. “History does not repeat itself.” —The parallels between the history of Rome and the twentieth century West are many and obvious.” How may these statements be reconciled?

Key Events and Persons

Julius Caesar: 100-44 B.C.

Augustus Caesar (Octavian): 63 B.C.-A.D. 14

Declared Pontifex Maximus: 12 B.C.

Diocletian: (Emperor) A.D. 284-305

Further Study

Here, as in succeeding suggestions for further study, it will be assumed that if you want to devote a great deal of time to a topic you can consult a library or a good bookstore. Suggestions given below are made on the basis of relevance to the text, readability, and availability.

Not all the books will necessarily agree at all—or in all details—with Dr. Schaeffer’s presentation. But as in the general conduct of life, so in matters of the mind, one must learn to discriminate. If you avoid reading things with which you disagree, you will be naive about what most of the world thinks. On the other hand, if you read everything—but without a critical mind—you will end up accepting by default all that the world (and especially your own moment of history) thinks.

J.P.V.D. Balsdon, Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome (1969).

E.M. Blaiklock, The Christian in Pagean Society (1956).

Samuel Dill, Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire (1962).

E.M.B. Green, Evangelism in the Early Church (1970).

Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans: A Selection (1972).

Virgil, The Aeneid (1965).

Film: Fellini, Satyricon (1969).

____________

.Featured artist is

Xanti Schawinsky

Walter Gropius & Xanti Schawinsky, Ascona, 1930

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Lux T. Feininger, Xanti Schawinsky in Bauhaus Musical Group, 1928

Collage with Bauhaus Jazz Band, approx.1938

Xanti Schawinsky at Broadway 1602

January 29th, 2010

 

Xanti Schawinsky at Broadway 1602

Artist: Xanti Schawinsky

Venue: Broadway 1602, New York

Exhibition Title: Beyond Bauhaus, Faces of War

Date: January 9 – February 20, 2010

Xanti Schawinsky at Broadway 1602

Xanti Schawinsky at Broadway 1602

Xanti Schawinsky at Broadway 1602

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.

Images:

Images courtesy of BROADWAY 1602, New York

Press Release:

The rediscovered oeuvre of first generation Bauhaus artist Xanti Schawinsky offers the contemporary consciousness a valuable untapped reservoir of aesthetic memory in the midst of the new century’s multi-front wars and financial turmoil.

His subtle, intimate, but powerful work from the 1940’s particularly draws attention to the not yet explored dimensions of the afterlife of Bauhaus ideals subject to the pressures of war and forced immigration. It is an aesthetic with a more existentialist and dystopian face, far from the positivism and bravura of the Bauhaus architects’ further achievements in the US after the decline of the influential school in Europe.

Born in 1904, in Switzerland, to Polish Jewish parents, Alexander “Xanti” Schawinsky worked for three years in Theodor Merrill’s Cologne architecture office before enrolling at the Bauhaus in 1924 where he studied with Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, Oskar Schlemmer, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Schawinsky had a significant presence at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau. He was particularly active in the theater department and strongly inspired by Schlemmer, whose position as teacher he took on and developed further. Photos from the early years of the Bauhaus show Schawinsky as a dynamic figure in many of its experimental extra-curricular activities. Among them was the influential Bauhaus Jazz band where Schawinsky introduced his “Step Danse-Step Machine” style of mechanical music and dance to pounding rhythms coupled with dramatic lighting effects and performance elements.

Schawinsky’s protean role at the Bauhaus was documented in the original 1938 MoMA Bauhaus exhibition organized with the help of Herbert Bayer, fellow Bauhaus student and teacher, and Walter Gropius, founder and director of the famed 20th c. school. This pivotal show of MoMA’s early days included a prominent group of Schawinsky’s theater and architecture paintings, his experimental photography, innovative graphic designs, ultra modern costume, set and exhibition designs, and his avant-garde theater and music work.

During their 20’s, most people build foundation skills, beliefs, and a firm positive sense of identity from their experience with teachers and mentors in a relative secure environment. While having the privilege to learn many technical skills in an exceptional avant-garde environment, Schawinsky also observed and experienced anxiety and persecution. He saw his Bauhaus undergo political pressure and ouster from the very cities that hosted it, saw the leaders he admired forced to leave, and the school, itself, compelled to close. He had seen the school, in an effort to survive, shift emphasis from handicraft, Expressionism, and the “the spiritual in art” to partner with industry, design for mass production, and embrace the machine aesthetic. As a Swiss/Polish “foreigner” and a Jew, the rise of Fascism was a perilous time. What Schawinsky learned in the anxious years between the two World Wars was that survival was an anxious process of constantly changing locations, creative styles and identities.

In 1936, Albers secured Schawinsky and his wife safe passage to the United States to teach at the legendary Black Mountain College. In charge of theater arts, Schawinsky expanded his ideas for experimental theater to be a multi-media “total experience.” His production of “Spectrodrama” and “Danse Macabre” at the Black Mountain College, demonstrated these ideas and laid the foundations for the work of John Cage and others at the College.  In 1938 political in-fighting among the faculty led him to move again, this time to New York City. There he collaborated on pavilion designs for the 1939 World’s Fair with colleagues Gropius, Bayer, and Marcel Breuer.

In New York among the tight-knit ex-patriot cultural community centered on the activities of avant-garde gallerist Julien Levy, Schawinsky for the first time experienced a sense of safety and integration. His new-comer status afforded him unique new perspectives on his life and the arts. He had the freedom and burden of confronting his own identity and purpose in “life during wartime.” At the same historical moment that the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel was coining the term “existentialism,” and Jean-Paul Sartre began to lecture and write about it, Schawinsky began to compose his own existential works with images which speak as clearly as words.

From work Schawinsky did for the “Visual Problems Unit” of the Army Air Corps designing anti-aircraft targeting patterns for artillery manuals, he conceived his 1942 series The Faces of War. In these imaginative tempera and graphite drawings Schawinsky expressed a fundamental despair that  “the machines” of the utopian Bauhaus theater had become the machines of mass destruction in the dystopian theaters of war. He made each a camouflage-painted robotic golem – a man/machine – at turns a threatening enemy or a powerful avenger. In his series of photo collages, Theme and Variation on a Face: Walter Gropius, he reflected upon his creative father/mentor and friend, presenting the architect in positive and negative versions integrated with linear architectural forms (culture) and tree forms including roots (nature and history). In the photo collages The Variations on a Face Series (Woman,) he confronted the enigmatic disembodied face of a woman, floating in a variety of spaces – landscape space, night sky space, topographically diagrammed space. However, Schawinsky extended his meditations using the portrait head motif still further.

Kurt Schwitters said that during the war years artists had to rebuild themselves from scraps and Schawinsky, possibly inspired by Czech poet Vít?zslav Nezval’s 1937 poem The Man Who Composes His Own Portrait With Objects, did so in his 1943 Character Head Series of graphite drawings of potential identities thematically pieced together from elements of nature, culture, and trade in the world around him. In a style related to the “paranoiac-critical” imaging methods of Salvador Dali, Schawinsky worked through his own need to make himself one with his environment by literally re-making himself from his environment.

The pastel drawing Untitled from 1945, though, is perhaps a summation of the artist’s existentialist experience of wartime, immigration and the post-war era. Two abstract featureless figures float in a dark nebulous space filled with light linear vortexes inspired by flight and targeting patterns the artist had designed for the army. The larger, a head and shoulders patterned in a regular grid suggesting the all-glass curtain-wall façade of a Modernist skyscraper, confronts a smaller golden yellow silhouette that stands framed in a doorway of bright yellow, violet, red-orange and green planes drawn in forced perspective.

In this vivid eerie scene of the existential aftermath of the war Schawinsky gives form to his anxiety and brings to bear his visionary experience as a synthesizer of the man-machine of the Bauhaus aesthetic into multi-media performance – an aesthetic picked up emblematically by Kraftwerk and other musician/artists in the 1970s as an expression of the climactic phase of the cold war.

Anke Kempkes, Larry List
New York, December 2009

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Xanti Schawinsky in Ascona, Sul Ponte Maggia, 1933

 

Human, Space, Machine – Stage Experiments at the Bauhaus

Nov.12,2014 – Feb.22,2015

  Bauhaus (1919-1933) as an Art & Design educational institution had a great influence on the development of the 20th century art, architecture, textile, graphic, industrial design and typography. Bauhaus was aimed to reach the total work of art and operated to educate new artists who could bring social changes.

From the early stage of the Bauhaus, they explored the role and function of art that closely related to our daily life in modern technology civilization through various workshops such as metal, textile, design and architecture under each meister. Their experiment and instruction method was not just purposed to develop the individual’s creativity and ability, but also guided to reach a total art through workshops by members of the Bauhaus.

Particularly, they mainly dealt with dynamic role of stage as space of harmony among human, space and machine. For this, their study about ‘total theater’ as a playground for primary experimentation was proceeding from the beginning of the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus stage workshop was established by Walter Gropius in 1921 and it was led by Lothar Schreyer, director, until 1923 and taken over by Oskar Schlemmer, painter and choreographer, in 1929.

The leading role of the Bauhaus, such as Walter Gropius, Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Xanti Schawinsky, Paul Klee, Wasily Kandinsky experimented synthesis among human, space and machine not only in their own area, but also on the stage. They believed that their research about mechanical and abstract stage design, costume, doll, dance, humorous movement, light and sound could even make a change of the modern human body and mind. Thus, we could readily understand a characteristic of stage experiments at the Bauhaus that tried to develop a new idea of modern man collectively by Johannes Itten’s word “Play becomes work, work becomes party, party becomes play.”

Human Space Machine-Stage Experiments at the Bauhaus was planned in collaboration with the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation since 2012. This exhibition deals with the Bauhaus’s experiments about new type of human response to changes of a new era, from World War I to early 1930s. Exhibitions about architecture and design of the Bauhaus were often shown, but this is the first full-scale exhibition ever to focus on stage experiments in Asia. The exhibition is organized in seven sections; Section one ‘Body of Harmonization’, section two ‘Atmospherical Devices’, section three‘Constructivist Figuration’, section four ‘Eccentric stage mechanisims’, section five ‘Sculptural choreographies’, section six‘Total theaters’, section seven ‘Programmed collectives’. In this exhibition organization make possible to recognize characteristic of the Bauhaus as an arena of creative and experimental idea toward multiple approach of art.

In addition, this exhibition presents six Korean contemporary artists; Na Kim, Paik Namjune, Ahn Sangsoo, Oh Jaewoo, Cho Sohee, Han Kyungwoo to show an enormous creativity and imagination of the Bauhaus also thrive in 21th century Korea contemporary art. Their artworks influenced by Bauhaus both directly and indirectly reminds us the Bauhaus movement was not a particular tendency within a certain period, but closer to the intrinsic manner of artists.

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ spins a tale of despair By Calvin Wilson St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ spins a tale of despair

Ginny (Kate Winslet) once dreamed of being an actress. And indeed, there’s something theatrical about the way she carries herself, as if she’s floating above the grit and grime of Coney Island in the 1950s. But the sad reality is that Ginny’s a waitress in a clam joint, and the only acting she gets to do is pretending that she’s not there.

Life at home isn’t much better. Ginny is married to the boorish Humpty (Jim Belushi), who has little appreciation for the finer things. And the situation only gets worse when Humpty’s estranged daughter, Carolina (Juno Temple), shows up. On the lam from mobsters, Carolina is even more desperate than Ginny.

As if that weren’t enough for Ginny to deal with, her preteen son, Richie (Jack Gore), has gotten into the habit of setting fires when he’s not incurring the wrath of stepdad Humpty.

Watching from the sidelines is Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a lifeguard and aspiring writer who gradually finds himself drawn into Ginny’s world. Something about her brings out the romantic in him.

Can Mickey rescue Ginny from her unhappy life? Perhaps a better question: Does he really want to?

Winslet is the main reason to see “Wonder Wheel,” a drama that finds writer-director Woody Allen exploring the possibilities of melodrama — but with qualified success. It’s often been said that Allen makes too many films, and his latest lacks the brilliance of his best work. There’s a staginess to the proceedings that keeps the viewer at an emotional distance.

But this tale of thwarted ambition and lowered expectations is an excellent showcase for Winslet. As Ginny, she’s a portrait of bottomless despair — yet you can also catch a glimmer of the woman who might have been. It’s a beautifully realized performance that’s generating Oscar buzz. Temple is also impressive as a refugee from unfortunate choices.

Like the fairground ride for which it’s named, “Wonder Wheel” is entertaining but not enlightening.

What “Wonder Wheel” • Three stars out of four • Run time 1:41 • Rating PG-13 • Content Thematic content including sexuality, language and smoking

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“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 1 MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT)

I am starting a series of posts called ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” The quote from the title is actually taken from the film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT where Stanley derides the belief that life has meaning, saying it’s instead “nasty, brutish, and short. Is that Hobbes? I would have […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149-O Sir Bertrand Russell “I see no evidence whatsoever for any of the Christian dogmas..” Well, Bertie, Here is some EVIDENCE from Archaeology from Schaeffer!!!

 

 

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Image result for bertrand russell

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

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Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

 

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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Bertrand Russell – Biographical

Bertrand Arthur William Russell was born at Trelleck on 18th May, 1872. His parents were Viscount Amberley and Katherine, daughter of 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley. At the age of three he was left an orphan. His father had wished him to be brought up as an agnostic; to avoid this he was made a ward of Court, and brought up by his grandmother. Instead of being sent to school he was taught by governesses and tutors, and thus acquired a perfect knowledge of French and German. In 1890 he went into residence at Trinity College, Cambridge, and after being a very high Wrangler and obtaining a First Class with distinction in philosophy he was elected a fellow of his college in 1895. But he had already left Cambridge in the summer of 1894 and for some months was attaché at the British embassy at Paris.

In December 1894 he married Miss Alys Pearsall Smith. After spending some months in Berlin studying social democracy, they went to live near Haslemere, where he devoted his time to the study of philosophy. In 1900 he visited the Mathematical Congress at Paris. He was impressed with the ability of the Italian mathematician Peano and his pupils, and immediately studied Peano’s works. In 1903 he wrote his first important book, The Principles of Mathematics, and with his friend Dr. Alfred Whitehead proceeded to develop and extend the mathematical logic of Peano and Frege. From time to time he abandoned philosophy for politics. In 1910 he was appointed lecturer at Trinity College. After the first World War broke out, he took an active part in the No Conscription fellowship and was fined £ 100 as the author of a leaflet criticizing a sentence of two years on a conscientious objector. His college deprived him of his lectureship in 1916. He was offered a post at Harvard university, but was refused a passport. He intended to give a course of lectures (afterwards published in America as Political Ideals, 1918) but was prevented by the military authorities. In 1918 he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for a pacifistic article he had written in the Tribunal. His Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919) was written in prison. His Analysis of Mind (1921) was the outcome of some lectures he gave in London, which were organized by a few friends who got up a subscription for the purpose.

In 1920 Russell had paid a short visit to Russia to study the conditions of Bolshevism on the spot. In the autumn of the same year he went to China to lecture on philosophy at the Peking university. On his return in Sept. 1921, having been divorced by his first wife, he married Miss Dora Black. They lived for six years in Chelsea during the winter months and spent the summers near Lands End. In 1927 he and his wife started a school for young children, which they carried on until 1932. He succeeded to the earldom in 1931. He was divorced by his second wife in 1935 and the following year married Patricia Helen Spence. In 1938 he went to the United States and during the next years taught at many of the country’s leading universities. In 1940 he was involved in legal proceedings when his right to teach philosophy at the College of the City of New York was questioned because of his views on morality. When his appointment to the college faculty was cancelled, he accepted a five-year contract as a lecturer for the Barnes foundation, Merion, Pa., but the cancellation of this contract was announced in Jan. 1943 by Albert C. Barnes, director of the foundation.

Russell was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1908, and re-elected a fellow of Trinity College in 1944. He was awarded the Sylvester medal of the Royal Society, 1934, the de Morgan medal of the London Mathematical Society in the same year, the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950.

In a paper “Logical Atomism” (Contemporary British Philosophy. Personal Statements, First series. Lond. 1924) Russell exposed his views on his philosophy, preceded by a few words on historical development.1

Principal publications
German Social Democracy, 1896
Foundations of Geometry, 1897
A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, 1900
Principles of Mathematics, vol. 1, 1903
Philosophical Essays, 1910
(with Dr. A. N. Whitehead) Principia mathematica, 3 vols, 1910-13
The Problems of Philosophy, 1912
Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, 1944
Principles of Social Reconstruction, 1916
Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, 1918
Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism, 1918
Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919
The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, 1920
The Analysis of Mind, 1921
The Problem of China, 1922
The ABC of Atoms, 1923
(with Dora Russell) The Prospects of Industrial Civilisation, 1923
Logical Atomism, 1924
The ABC of Relativity, 1925
On Education, 1926
The Analysis of Matter, 1927
An Outline of Philosophy, 1927
Sceptical Essays, 1928
Marriage and Morals, 1929
The Conquest of Happiness, 1930
The Freedom and Organisation 1814-1914, 1934
In Praise of Idleness, 1935
Which Way to Peace?, 1936
(with Patricia Russell editor of) The Amberley Papers, 2 vols, 1937
Power: a new Social Introduction to its Study, 1938
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, 1941
History of Western Philosophy, 1946
Human Knowledge, its Scope and Limits, 1948
Authority and the Individual, 1949
Unpopular Essays, 1950

1) The matter for this sketch is taken from general English reference books.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1950, Editor Arne Holmberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1951

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/ Nobel Lectures/The Nobel Prizes. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.

For more updated biographical information, see:
Russell, Bertrand, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. (3 vols.) Allen & Unwin: London, 1967-1969.

Bertrand Russell died on February 2, 1970.

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

 

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (pages 180-182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

Modern man is a man of dichotomy. By dichotomy we mean a total separation into two reciprocally exclusive orders, with no unity or relationship between them.  The dichotomy here is the total separation between the area of meaning and values, and the area of reason. Reason leading to despair must be kept totally separate from the blind optimism of nonreason. This makes a lower and an upper story, with the lower story of reason leading to pessimism and men trying to find optimism in an upper story devoid of reason.  At this point the older rationalistic thinkers (with their optimistic hope of maintaining unity between the world of reason and that of meaning and values)were left behind.This is the mark of modern man.

In our day, humanistic reason affirms that there is only the cosmic machine, which encompasses everything, including people. To those who hold this view everything people are or do is explained by some form of determinism, some type of behaviorism, some kind of reductionism. The terms determinism or behaviorism indicate that everything people think or do is determined in a machinelike way and that any sense of freedom or choice is an illusion.   In one form of reductionism, man is explained by reducing him to the smallest particles which make up his body. Man is seen as being only the molecule or the energy particle, more complex but not intrinsically different.

have never heard this expressed more clearly than when I was lecturing in AcapulcoMexicoGeorge Wald (1906–), a chemistry professor from Harvard University, was also there lecturing to the same group. He expressed with great force the modern concept that all things, including man, are merely the product of chance.  After he had stressed over and over again that all things, beginning from the molecule and ending with man, are only the product of chance, he said, ‘Four hundred years ago there was a collection of molecules named Shakespeare which produced Hamlet.’  According to these theories, that is all that man can be.  Man beginning with his proud, proud humanism, tried to make himself autonomous, but rather than becoming great, he had found himself ending up as only a collection of molecules — nothing more.

Image result for shakespeare

All this is related to the question of origins: What was the beginning of everythingUltimatelythere are not many possible answers to this question. First, we could say that everything came from nothing–that is, from REALLY nothing, what I call NOTHING NOTHING. This means that once there was no mass, no energy, no motion, and no personality. This is theoretically a possibility, but I have never heard anyone hold this view, for it seems to be unthinkable. It follows that if we do not hold that everything has come of NOTHING-NOTHING, then something has always existed.

 Second,there is the possibility of a personal beginning—that everything else was made by a personality who could bring forth the universe (the space-time continuum) when it had not existed previously in any form. This is not out of NOTHING-NOTHING, but the personality would have existed previously.

Third, there is the possibility of an impersonal beginning–that some form of the impersonal has existed forever, even if in a form vastly different from that which we now know. This idea of an impersonal beginning has many variationsincluding the use of the word God to mean the ultimate impersonal, as in the case of pantheism. A more accurate word than pantheism to describe this position is pan-everythingism. The word pantheism slips in the connotation of personality, even though, by definition, the concept excludes it. In much modern thought, all begins with the impersonality of the atom or the molecule or the energy particle, and then everything–including life and man–comes forth by chance from that.

Image result for Louis Pasteur

This is really very curious because Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), the French chemist, demonstrated the impossibility of the then-accepted concept of the spontaneous generation of life–that is, life springing from nonliving things. Pasteur showed in 1864 that if the nonliving things were pasteurized, then life could not come forth. In other words, what was previously considered spontaneous generation of life from nonliving things was mistaken–

—life always came from living things. When pasteurization killed all the elements of life, life never came forth from the nonliving things. but then the men of that same era returned to the concept of the spontaneous generation of life by adding a new factor: long reaches of time.

Image result for bertrand russell

This equation of the impersonal plus time plus chance producing the total configuration of the universe and all that is in it, modern people hold by faith. And if one does in faith accept this, with what final value is he left? In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Image result for bertrand russell nobel prize

(Below is George Wald being awarded Nobel Prize and above is Bertrand Russell being awarded too.)

Image result for george wald nobel prize

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

If we take another hundred-year step backwards in time, we come to King Solomon, son of David. On his death the Jewish Kingdom was divided into two sections as a result of a civil revolt. Israel to the north with Jeroboam as king and Judah (as it was called subsequently) to the south under Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. In both the Book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible we read how during Rehoboam’s reign: 25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. (I Kings 14:25; II Chronicles 12:2), and how Shishak stripped Rehoboam of the wealth accumulated by his able father, Solomon. The reality of this event is confirmed by archaeology to a remarkable degree.

Shishak subdued not only Rehoboam but Jeroboam as well. The proof of this comes first from a fragment in a victory monument erected by Shishak and discovered at Megiddo, a city in the land of Israel. So the Egyptian king’s force swept northwards, subdued the two Jewish kings, and then erected a victory monument to that effect. Traces of the destruction have also been discovered in such cities as Hazor, Gezer, and Megiddo. These confirm what was written in Second Chronicles:

And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says theLord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’”Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “TheLord is righteous.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made…( II Chronicles 12:4-9)

Further confirmation comes from the huge victory scene engraved on Shishak’s order at the Temple of Karnak in Egypt. The figure of the king is somewhat obscured, but he is clearly named and he is seen smiting Hebrew captives before the god Amon, and there are symbolic rows of names of conquered towns of Israel and Judah.

Solomon’s is remembered also for his great wealth. The Bible tells us:

14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15 besides that which came from the explorers and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of the west and from the governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels[a]of gold went into each shield. 17 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; three minas[b] of gold went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. (I Kings 10:14-17)

This wealth that the Bible speaks of has been challenged. Surely, some have said, these figures are an exaggeration. Excavations, however, have confirmed enormous quantities of precious metals, owned and distributed by kings during this period. For example, Shishak’s son Osorkon I (statuette of Osorkon I, Brooklyn Museum, New York), the one who stood to gain from the booty carried off from Rehoboam’s capital, is reported to have made donations to his god Amon totaling 470 tons of precious metal, gold, and silver, during only the first four years of his reign. This, of course, is much more than Solomon’s 66 talents which equals approximately twenty tons of gold per annum. We also have confirmation of the Bible’s reference to Solomon’s gold as coming from Ophir. The location of Ophir is still unknown, but an ostracon dated a little later than Solomon’s time actually mentions that thirty shekels of gold had come from Ophir for Beth-horon.

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I am moving the MUSIC MONDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been in the recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

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TheArnoldFans interviews Dee Snider

Twisted Sister — We’re Not Gonna Take it [Extended Version] OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

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The story behind two of good clips used in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign on 10/7/2003

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__ Religious Songs That Secular People Can Love: Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash & Your Favorites in Music, Religion| December 15th, 2015 7 Comments There are good reasons to find the onslaught of religious music this time of year objectionable. And yet—though I want to do my part in the War on […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Great quotes from Milton Friedman

I am moving the FRIEDMAN FRIDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

http://ohnimus.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/13-quotes-from-men-of-recent-history-on-government-welfare/

http://www.drdavewhite.com/2012/12/02/why-doing-good-by-force-is-bad/

http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

http://www.libertygiant.com/libertygiant/quotes.php

“What kind of society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.” — Milton Friedman

Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised. – Milton Friedman

Whenever we depart from voluntary cooperation and try to do good by using force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions. – Milton Friedman

The essential notion of a capitalist society … is voluntary cooperation, voluntary exchange. The essential notion of a socialist society is force. – Milton Friedman

“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another. “– Milton Friedman

“The power to determine the quantity of money… is too important, too pervasive, to be exercised by a few people, however public-spirited, if there is any feasible alternative. There is no need for such arbitrary power… Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, [so] that mistakes – excusable or not – can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic – this is the key political argument against an independent central bank. “— Milton Friedman

“Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion – the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals – the technique of the marketplace.” – Milton Friedman

Self-interest is not myopic selfishness. It is whatever it is that interests the participants, whatever they value, whatever goals they pursue. The scientist seeking to advance the frontiers of his discipline, the missionary seeking to convert infidels to the true faith, the philanthropist seeking to bring comfort to the needy – all are pursuing their interests, as they see them, as they judge them by their own values. – Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman (1912-)
American Economist and 1976 Nobel Prize-Winner in Economics

“The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government-union-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system. And losses were at least as important in weeding out failures as profits in fostering successes. Let government succor failures, and we shall be headed for stagnation and decline.”

“Whenever we depart from voluntary cooperation and try to do good by using force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions.”

“There was a time when we [the U.S.] had completely unrestricted immigration, when anybody could come to these shores and the motto on the Statue of Liberty had some real meaning. This was a country of hope and of promise for immigrants and their children, and as many as a million immigrants a year came in 1906 and ’07 and ’08. By 1914, roughly a third of the population was foreign-born or the immediate descendants of foreign-born . . . The fact that year after year hundreds of thousands of people left the countries of Europe to come to this country was persuasive evidence that they were coming to improve their lot, not to worsen it.”

“Why have we had such a decline in moral climate? I submit to you that a major factor has been a change in the philosophy which has been dominant, a change from belief in individual responsibility to belief in social responsibility. If you adopt the view that a man is not responsible for his own behavior, that somehow or other society is responsible, why should he seek to make his behavior good?”

“The essential notion of a capitalist society . . . is voluntary cooperation, voluntary exchange. The essential notion of a socialist society is force.”

“The preservation of liberty, not the promotion of efficiency, is the primary justification for private property. Efficiency is a happy, though not accidental, by-product–and a most important by-product because liberty could not have survived if it had not also produced affluence.”

“The great virtue of free enterprise is that it forces existing businesses to meet the test of the market continuously, to produce products that meet consumer demands at lowest cost, or else be driven from the market. It is a profit-and-loss system. Naturally, existing businesses generally prefer to keep out competitors in other ways. That is why the business community, despite its rhetoric, has so often been a major enemy of truly free enterprise.”

“Adam Smith’s key insight was that both parties to an exchange can benefit and that, so long as cooperation is strictly voluntary, no exchange can take place unless both parties do benefit.”

“There’s a widespread belief and common conception that somehow or other business and economics are the same, that those people who are in favor of a free market are also in favor of everything that big business does. And those of us who have defended a free market have, over a long period of time, become accustomed to being called apologists for big business. But nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s a real distinction between being in favor of free markets and being in favor of whatever business does.”

“Most economic fallacies derive. . . from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

“I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my value system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.”

“Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion–the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals–the technique of the marketplace.”

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there would be a shortage of sand.”

“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

“Freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself . . . Economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.”

“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes non-work.”

“Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.”

“Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men.”

“A society that puts equality. . . ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.”

“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

“Inflation is taxation without legislation.”

“What kind of a society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm.”

“Self-interest is not myopic selfishness. It is whatever it is that interests the participants, whatever they value, whatever goals they pursue. The scientist seeking to advance the frontiers of his discipline, the missionary seeking to convert infidels to the true faith, the philanthropist seeking to bring comfort to the needy—all are pursuing their interests, as they see them, as they judge them by their own values.”

“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”

“History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom.”

“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.”

“Most economic fallacies derive . . . from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

“When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it. When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on. When a man spends someone else’s money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys, but doesn’t care at all how much he spends. And when a man spends someone else’s money on someone else, he does’t care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that’s government for you.”

 

_________________

 

Given what we know in 2012, saying that capitalism will make a society richer than socialism should be about as controversial as saying the earth is round, not flat. Yet, a recent Gallup poll shows that more liberals have a positive view of socialism than capitalism. This is only possible because there are so many perverse incentives that drive the promotion of socialism. If you’re a politician, socialism puts power in your hands while capitalism takes it away. If you want to use the government to control people’s lives, socialism is a wonderful vehicle to do just that while capitalism robs you of that opportunity. If you would rather live off the dole than to work or alternately, prefer to make money off “who you know” instead of “how good a service you provide,” again socialism works better for you. Now take into account the fact that there are no pure socialist or capitalist economies left and it becomes very easy to muddy the water and keep people from realizing the obvious economic superiority of capitalism.

1) Socialism benefits the few at the expense of the many: Socialism is superior to capitalism in one primary way: It offers more security. It’s almost like an extremely expensive insurance policy that dramatically cuts into your quality of life, but insures that if worse comes to worse, you won’t drop below a very minimal lifestyle. For the vast majority of people, this would be a terrible deal. On the other hand, if you’re lazy, completely incompetent or alternately, just have a streak of very bad luck, the meager benefits provided by socialism may be very appealing. So a socialist society forces the many to suffer in order to make it easier for the few. It’s just as Winston Churchill once noted, “The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

2) Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship while socialism discourages it: A government in a capitalist economy can quite easily give everyone equality of opportunity with a few basic laws and regulations, but socialism strives to create equality of results. This should frighten people who value their freedom because ultimately, as F.A. Hayek has noted, A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers. You can see this happening in America as our efforts to reduce “inequality” have led to an ever expanding government and a vast regulatory tangle that is almost unexplainable despite the fact that it is certainly enforceable. Capitalism encourages people to start a business and build a better life for themselves while socialism lays in wait with IRS agents, nooses made of red tape and meddling bureaucrats looking for businesses to control and loot.

3) Capitalism leads to innovation: Coming up with new products is often time consuming, expensive and hit or miss. Nine ideas may fail before that tenth one takes off. The less the creative people behind these ideas are allowed to benefit, the less time, money and effort they’ll put into developing new concepts and inventions. Put another way, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward has to be to convince people to take it. Capitalism offers big rewards for productive people while socialism offers makers only a parade of bureaucratic leeches who want to take advantage of their “good fortune.”

4) Capitalism produces more economic growth: Capitalism produces considerably more economic growth than socialism and as John Kennedy said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” A fast growing economy produces more jobs, more wealth and helps everyone. Many people assume that capitalism isn’t working if there are still poor people, but that misses the point. In many parts of the world, poverty means living in a hut with a dirt floor while in America, most poor Americans have TVs, refrigerators and cell phones. The rich may take home a larger share of the pie in capitalism, but the poor also benefit tremendously from living in a growing, thriving economy.

5) Socialism is too slow to adapt: Capitalism is extremely good at allocating capital to where it’s most valued. It has to be. Either you give people what they are willing to pay for or someone else will. On the other hand, socialism is slow and stupid for a variety of reasons. Because the government is spending someone else’s money, it doesn’t get particularly concerned about losing money. Political concerns about appearances often trump the effectiveness of a program. Moreover, even if politicians and bureaucrats are intelligent and competent, which are big “ifs,” they’re simply not going to have the specific knowledge needed to make decisions that may impact thousands of different industries. This is why capitalism may have its share of troubles, but when there are really colossal economic screw-ups, you’ll always find the government neck deep in the whole mess.

6) Socialism is inherently wasteful: Milton Friedman once said, “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own.” This is very true and it means that the more capital that is taken out of the economy and distributed, the more of it that will be wasted. The market does a considerably better job of allocating resources than the government because there are harsh penalties for failure. A company that makes products no one wants will go out of business. A poorly performing government program that wastes a hundred times more money will probably receive a bigger budget the next year.

7) Capitalism works in concert with human nature while socialism works against it: Ayn Rand said it well, “America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way,” but Adam Smith said it better, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” A man will work much harder to take care of himself, his family and his friends than he will to make money for the state, which will then waste most of it before redistributing it to people who aren’t working as hard as the man who earned it in the first place.

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 204 Francis Schaeffer in the book ART AND THE BIBLE (Feature on artist ALBERTO GIACOMETTI)

 

Great article:

Alberto Giacometti Life and Art Periods

“All the art of the past rises up before me, the art of all ages and all civilizations, everything becomes simultaneous, as if space had replaced time. Memories of works of art blend with affective memories, with my work, with my whole life.”

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI SYNOPSIS

Alberto Giacometti’s remarkable career traces the shifting enthusiasms of European art before and after the Second World War. As a Surrealist in the 1930s, he devised innovative sculptural forms, sometimes reminiscent of toys and games. And as anExistentialist after the war, he led the way in creating a style that summed up the philosophy’s interests in perception, alienation and anxiety. Although his output extends into painting and drawing, the Swiss-born and Paris-based artist is most famous for his sculpture. And he is perhaps best remembered for his figurative work, which helped make the motif of the suffering human figure a popular symbol of post-war trauma.

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI KEY IDEAS

Giacometti’s work of the 1930s represents probably the most important contribution to Surrealist sculpture. In an effort to explore themes derived from Freudianpsychoanalysis, like sexuality, obsession and trauma, he developed a variety of different sculptural objects. Some were influenced by primitive art, but perhaps most striking were those that resemble games, toys, and architectural models. They almost encourage the viewer to physically interact with them, an idea which was very radical at the time.
In the late 1930s, Giacometti abandoned abstraction and Surrealism, becoming more interested in how to represent the human figure in a convincing illusion of real space. He wanted to depict figures in such a way as to capture a palpable sense of spatial distance, so that we, as viewers, might share in the artist’s own sense of distance from his model, or from the encounter that inspired the work. The solution he arrived at involved whittling the figures down to the slenderest proportions.
Giacometti’s post-war achievement – finding a language through which to represent the figure in real space – impressed the many writers of the period who were interested in Phenomenology and Existentialism. Both of these philosophies contained ideas about self-consciousness and how we relate to other human beings, and Giacometti’s art was thought to powerfully capture the tone of melancholy, alienation and loneliness that these ideas suggested.
Although the 1950s art world of both Europe and the United States was dominated by abstract painting, Giacometti’s figurative sculpture came to be a hugely influential model of how the human figure might return to art. His figures represented human beings alone in the world, turned in on themselves and failing to communicate with their fellows, despite their overwhelming desire to reach out.

MOST IMPORTANT ART

Gazing Head (1928)
In his early years, Giacometti often experienced difficulty in sculpting from life. In this despair, he began to work from memory. The early plaster bust Gazing Head, arguably the artist’s first truly original work, illustrates the culmination of this effort. The flatness of the head and face – Giacometti’s economical placement of smooth divots for definition – result in a bust that is at once abstract and figurative. And yet the underlying theme of the work, the act of gazing, invites viewers to ponder whether what they are looking at is in fact a mirror. When Gazing Head was first exhibited in Paris in 1929, it immediately grabbed the attention of the French Surrealists, beginning an association that would cement the early part of Giacometti’s career.
Plaster – Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Zurich

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI BIOGRAPHY

Childhood

Alberto Giacometti was born in 1901 in the mountain hamlet of Borgonovo, in eastern Switzerland. He was the first of four children born to Giovanni Giacometti, a Post-Impressionist painter, and Annetta Giacometti-Stampa, whose family was among the area’s prominent land owners. In addition to his father, several members of Giacometti’s extended family were artists, including Augusto Giacometti (second cousin to both Giovanni and Annetta), who was a Symbolist painter, and Cuno Amiet, Alberto’s godfather and a close family friend, who was a Fauvist.

When Giacometti was no older than ten, he began to send pencil and crayon drawings to his godfather Amiet, most of which he saved and survive today. And in the years that followed, he began to experiment with oils and still-lifes, often using his siblings as models. He produced his first painting at age twelve.

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ALBERTO GIACOMETTI LEGACY

Both of the important phases of Giacometti’s career yielded innovations that influenced a wide range of artists. His Surrealist sculpture of the 1930s, for instance, influencedHenry Moore, partly inspiring the Surrealism that would be such an important component of Moore’s practice throughout his life. It is certainly hard to imagine Moore’s own innovative experiments in the 1930s without Giacometti’s example. And Giacometti’s figurative work was vital in re-establishing the figure as a viable motif in the post-war period, at a time when abstract art dominated. His spindly bronze figures, which appear punctured and fragile, compressed in space, are in many respects visual manifestations of Existentialist thought, emblems of the condition of modern humanity ravaged by doubt.

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI QUOTES

“Let me know how to make only one and I will be able to make a thousand.”

“Just the same, if I begin my statue, as they do, with the tip of the nose, then an infinity of time will not be too much before I get to the nostrils.”

“When I make my drawings … the path traced by my pencil on the sheet of paper is, to some extend, analogous to the gesture of a man groping his way in the darkness.”

“All the art of the past rises up before me, the art of all ages and all civilizations, everything becomes simultaneous, as if space had replaced time. Memories of works of art blend with affective memories, with my work, with my whole life.”

INFLUENCES

ARTISTS

André Derain

Constantin Brancusi

Hans Arp

Joan Miró

Pablo Picasso
FRIENDS

André Masson

Louis Aragon

Balthus

Max Ernst

Georges Bataille
MOVEMENTS

Post-Impressionism

Cubism

Surrealism

Constructivism

Divisionism
Alberto Giacometti Bio Photo
Alberto Giacometti
Years Worked: 1920 – 1966
ARTISTS

Isamu Noguchi Overview

Isamu Noguchi

Salvador Dalí Overview

Salvador Dalí

Henry Moore Overview

Henry Moore

Leland Bell Overview

Leland Bell

Francis Bacon Overview

Francis Bacon
FRIENDS

Jean-Paul Sartre Overview

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean Genet Overview

Jean Genet

Francis Ponge Overview

Francis Ponge

Eduardo Paolozzi Overview

Eduardo Paolozzi

Alexander Calder Overview

Alexander Calder
MOVEMENTS

Existentialism Overview

Existentialism

Art Nouveau Overview

Art Nouveau

Realism Overview

Realism

Neo-Expressionism Overview

Neo-Expressionism

___________

Art and the Bible
by Francis Schaeffer

art forms add strength to the world-view

Art forms add strength to the world-view which shows through, no matter what the world-view is or whether the world-view is true or false. Think, for example, of a side of beef hanging in a butcher shop. It just hangs there. But if you go to the Louvre and look at Rembrandt’s painting, Side of Beef Hanging in a Butcher Shop, it’s very different. It’s startling to come upon this particular work because it says a lot more than its title. Rembrandt’s art causes us to see the side of beef in a concentrated way, and, speaking for myself, after looking and looking at his picture I have never been able to look at a side of beef in a butcher shop with the superficiality I did before. How much stronger is Rembrandt’s painting than merely the label, A Side of Beef.

In literature, there is a parallel. Good prose as an art form has something bad prose does not. Further, poetry has something good prose does not. We may have long discussions on what is added, but the fact that there are distinct differences is clear. Even in the Bible, the poetry adds a dimension not present in the prose. In fact, the effect of any proposition, whether true or false, can be heightened if it is expressed in poetry or in artistic Prose rather than in bald, formulaic statement.
normal definitions, normal syntax

In all forms of writing, both poetry and prose, it makes a tremendous difference whether there is a continuity or a discontinuity with the normal definitions of words in normal syntax. Many modern writers make a concerted effort to disassociate the language of their works from the normal use of language in which there is a normal definition of words and a normal use of syntax. If there is no continuity with the way in which language is normally used, then there is no way for a reader or an audience to know what the author is saying.

An artist can, of course, use language with great richness, fill his writing with figures of speech and hyperbole or play games with the syntax. The great artist often does this, going far beyond a merely rudimentary use of normal grammar and normal definition of words. And in doing so, he adds depth and dimension.

Shakespeare is the great example. We understand Shakespeare’s dramas because he uses enough normal syntax and normal definitions of words so that there is a running story and a continuity between the running story and all of the artistic devices he uses. We know what Shakespeare is saying not because of the far-flung metaphors and beautiful verbal twists, but because of the continuity they have with the story on the level of normal definition and normal syntax. There is a firm core of straightforward propositions. What is true in literature is also true in painting and sculpture. The common symbolic vocabulary that belongs to all men (the artists and the viewers) is the world around us — namely, God’s world. That symbolic vocabulary in the representational arts stands parallel to normal grammar and normal syntax in the literary arts. When, therefore, there is no attempt on the part of an artist to use this symbolic vocabulary at all, then communication breaks down. There is then no way for anyone to know what the artist is saying. My point is not that making this sort of art is immoral or anti-Christian, but rather that a dimension is lost.

Totally abstract art stands in an undefined relationship with the viewer, for the viewer is completely alienated from the painter. There is a huge wall between them. The painter and the viewer stand separated from each other in total alienation, a greater alienation than Giacometti could ever show in his alienated figures.

When Giacometti pictures the awful alienation of man, he makes figures which are alienated, but he is still living in God’s world and is still using the common symbolic forms, no matter how he distorts them. He plays with the vocabulary, but the vocabulary is still there. So there is a communication between Giacometti and me, a titanic communication. I can understand what he is saying and I cry.

In contrast to this, there is a distinct limitation to totally abstract art. Like prose or poetry which has no contact with normal syntax and the normal definitions of words, it is a quarry out of which the observer or the hearer has a personal emotional response.

art and the sacred

The fact that something is a work of art does not make it sacred. Martin Heidegger in What Is Philosophy? came finally to the view that there are small beings (namely, people) who verbalize, and therefore we can hope that Being has some meaning. His great cry at the end of this book is to listen to the poet. Heidegger is not saying that we should listen to the content of what the poets say, because one can find two different poets who give absolutely opposite content and this doesn’t matter. Rather, the poet as a poet became Heidegger’s upper-story optimistic hope.

As Christians, we must see that just because an artist —even a great artist —portrays a world-view in writing or on canvas, it does not mean that we should automatically accept that worldview. Art may heighten the impact of the world-view —in fact, we can count on this — but it does not make something true. The truth of a world-view presented by an artist must be judged on grounds other than artistic greatness.

four standards of judgment

What kind of judgment does one apply, then, to a work of art? I believe that there are four basic standards:

(1) technical excellence; (2) validity; (3) intellectual content, the world-view which comes through; and (4) the integration of content and vehicle.

I will discuss technical excellence in relationship to painting because it is easy to point out through this medium what I mean. Here one considers the use of color, form, the texture of the paint, the handling of lines, the balance, composition and unity of the painting, and so forth. In each of these, there can be varying degrees of technical excellence. By recognizing technical excellence as an aspect of an art work, we are often able to say that while we do not agree with such and such an artist’s world-view, he is nonetheless a great artist.

We are not being true to the artist as a man if we consider his art work junk simply because we differ with his outlook on life. Christian schools, Christian parents, and Christian pastors often have turned off young people at just this point. Because the schools, the pastors and the parents did not make a distinction between technical excellence and content, the whole of much great art has been rejected with scorn or ridicule. Instead, if the artist’s technical excellence is high, he is to be praised for this, even if we differ with his world-view. Man must be treated fairly as man. Creative ability and technical excellence are therefore important criteria. Validity is the second criterion. By validity I mean whether an artist is honest to himself and to his world-view, or whether he makes his art only for money or for the sake of being accepted. If an artist makes an art work solely for a patron — whether that patron is the ancient noble, or the modern art gallery to which the artist wants access, or the modern art critics of the moment — his work does not have validity. The modern forms of ²the patronÓ are more destructive than even that of the old noble.

To bring it down to earth, let’s see what happens in the art form of preaching. There is many a pastor who does not have validity. Some preach for material gain and others in order to be accepted by their congregation. It is so easy to play to the audience, to adjust what one says or the way one says it to produce the kind of effect which will be most beneficial to the preacher himself. And when one sees the issue in relationship to the gospel, the force of the dishonesty is especially obvious. We can think of the contemporary dramatists whose future is in the hands of the critics of the passing moment. In drama, art, music and cinema, we have a set of New York and London critics who can make or break the artist. How easy it is to play to the critic and not to take one’s art as a serious expression of what the artist himself wants to say and do.
The third criterion for the judgment of a work of art is its content, that which reflects the world-view of the artist. As far as a Christian is concerned, the world-view that is shown through a body of art must be seen ultimately in terms of the Scripture. The artist’s world-view is not to be free from the judgment of the Word of God. In this the artist is like a scientist. The scientist may wear a white coat and be considered an “authority” by society, but where his statements impinge upon what God has given us in Scripture, they come under the ultimate authority of His Word. An artist may wear a painterØs smock and be considered almost a holy man; yet where his work shows his world-view, the content must be judged by its relationship to the Christian world-view.

I think we can now see how it is possible to make such judgments concerning the work of art. If we stand as Christians before a man’s canvas and say that he is a great artist in technical excellence and validity — if in fact he is — if we have been fair with him as a man and as an artist, then we can say that his world-view is wrong. We can judge his view on the same basis as we judge the views of anybody else — philosopher, common man, laborer, businessman or whatever.
Let’s be more specific. The notion of Bohemian freedom which Jean-Jacques Rousseau promulgated and which has been so prevalent in modern society has no place in Christian thinking. Rousseau was seeking a kind of autonomous freedom, and from him stemmed a group of “supermen” whose lives were lived above reason, as it were, and above the norms of society. For a long time this Bohemian life was taken to be the ideal for the artist, and it has come in the last few decades to be considered an ideal for more than the artist. From a Christian point of view, however, this sort of life is not allowed. God’s Word binds the great man and the small, the scientist and the simple, the king and the artist.

Some artists may not know that they are consciously showing forth a world-view. Nonetheless, a world-view usually does show through from the body of their work. Even those works which were constructed under the principle of art for art’s sake often imply a world-view — even the world-view that there is no meaning is a message. In any case, whether the artist is conscious of the world-view or not, to the extent that it is there it must come under the judgment of the Word of God

There is a corollary to this third criterion. We should realize that if something untrue or immoral is stated in great art, it can be far more destructive and devastating than if it is expressed in poor art or prosaic statement. Much of the crude art, the common product of counterculture communities and the underground press, is laden with destructive messages, but the art is so poor that it does not have much force. But the greater the artistic expression, the more important it is to consciously bring it and its world-view under the judgment of Christ and the Bible. The common reaction among many, however, is just the opposite. Many seem to feel that the greater the art, the less we ought to be critical of its world-view. This we must reverse.

An example of the devastating effect of great art with nonChristian content occurs in Zen. In Zen, the world is nothing, man is nothing, everything is nothing; but Zen poetry says it beautifully, so much more beautifully than the counterculture press. Swearing in four-letter words, the counterculture press often declares that man is nothing, the world is nothing, nothing is nothing. And one thinks to himself, “Ah, but if it were said with some beauty, maybe there would be something.” And then Zen comes along as a high art form and gives this message with beauty. And now you’re dead twice. There is a second corollary related to judging the content of an art work. It is possible for a non-Christian writer or painter to write and paint according to a Christian world-view even though he himself is not a Christian. To understand this, we must distinguish between two meanings of the word Christian. The first and essential meaning is that a Christian is a person who has accepted Christ as his Savior and has thus passed from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God, by being born again. But if a number of people really are Christians, then they bring forth a kind of consensus that exists apart from themselves and sometimes non-Christians paint and write within the framework of that consensus even though they as individuals are not Christians.

There are, therefore, four kinds of people in the realm of art. The first is the born-again man who writes or paints within the Christian total world-view. The second is the non-Christian who expresses his own non-Christian world-view. The third is the man who is personally a non-Christian, but nevertheless writes or paints on the basis of the Christian consensus by which he has been influenced. For example, in another area, if one were to ask whether Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson personally were Christians, the answer, as best we can judge from what they have said, is no. Nonetheless, they produced something that had some sort of Christian framework because they were producing it out of the Christian consensus of Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex. Thus, from a Christian framework Jefferson and Franklin were able to write that men have certain inalienable rights, a notion derived from a specifically Christian world-view. The fourth person is the born-again Christian who does not understand what the total Christian world-view should be and therefore produces art which embodies a non-Christian worldview. In other words, just as it is possible for a non-Christian to be inconsistent and to paint God’s world in spite of his personal philosophy, it is possible for a Christian to be inconsistent and embody in his paintings a non-Christian world-view. And it is this latter which is perhaps the most sad.

The fourth criterion for judging a work of art involves how well the artist has suited the vehicle to the message. For those art works which are truly great, there is a correlation between the style and the content. The greatest art fits the vehicle that is being used to the world-view that is being presented.

A clear example is found in T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. When Eliot published this in 1922, he became a hero to the modern poets, because for the first time he dared to make the form of his poetry fit the nature of the world as he saw it — namely, broken, unrelated, ruptured. What was that form? A collection of shattered fragments of language and images, and allusions drawn seemingly haphazardly from all manner of literature, philosophy and religious writings from the ancients to the present. But modern poets were pleased, for they now had a poetic form to fit the modern world-view of unrelatedness.

The breakthrough in painting came in Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), a painting which takes its name from a house of prostitution in Barcelona. Picasso began this work in the vein of other paintings of the period; but as one critic describes it, Picasso ended it as “a semi-abstract composition in which the forms of the nudes and their accessories are broken up into planes compressed into a shallow space.” More specifically, Picasso began on the left by painting the forms rather naturally, toward the middle he painted more like Spanish primitives, and finally on the right, as he finished his work, he painted the women as only abstract forms and symbols or masks, and thus succeeded in making monsters of his human subjects. Picasso knew what he was doing, and for a moment the world stood still. It was in fact so strong an expression that for a long time even his friends would not accept it. They didn’t even want to look at it. Thus, in his painting of the women Picasso pictured the fractured nature of modern man. What T. S. Eliot did in his poetry, Picasso had already done in painting. Both men deserve high scores for suiting the vehicle to the message.

No art should be judged on the basis of this criterion alone, however. We should ultimately see all art works in the light of their technique, validity, world-view, and suiting of form to content.

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaeffer—who always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!!!!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE  HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

 

Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary)

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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